Stuffed Butternut Squash


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

The Quinoa Cookbook

The Quinoa Cookbook

By Penny Doyle

Published 2013

  • About

Quinoa lends itself perfectly as a stuffing for vegetables, with its excellent nutrient profile and ability to absorb exciting, vibrant flavours. Spanish smoked paprika dominates this spicy dish with its opulent taste and deep colour, and the finished dish is beautifully tempered by a sour cream drizzle and melted cheese.


  • 1 large or 2 small butternut squash (about 800 g/ lb total weight)
  • olive oil
  • 30 ml/2 tbsp pine nuts
  • 30 ml/2 tbsp roughly chopped hazelnuts
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 5 ml/1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 200 g/7 oz chopped canned tomatoes
  • 250 ml/8 fl oz/1 cup water
  • 120 ml/4 fl oz/½ cup red wine
  • 115 g/4 oz/ cup black quinoa
  • 75 g/3 oz/1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • salt and ground black pepper
  • 90 ml/6 tbsp sour cream and a pinch of smoked paprika, to garnish
  • mixed leaf salad, to serve


  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas 5. Cut the butternut squash in half. Scrape away and discard the seeds and fibre.
  2. Score two lines 4 cm/ in apart lengthways along the inside of the butternut squash, then slice under to remove this core section. Dice the extracted flesh into small cubes.
  3. Place the squash halves in a roasting pan in the oven, inside facing up, season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Bake for 15-20 minutes.
  4. In the same oven, roast the butternut squash cubes in a separate roasting pan for 10 minutes until just tender, then add the pine nuts and hazelnuts and roast for a further 5 minutes until the pine nuts are golden. Set aside.
  5. Meanwhile, heat 15 ml/1 tbsp oil in a medium pan, add the onion, garlic and paprika and lightly fry for 5-8 minutes, until the onion is softened.
  6. Add the tomatoes and their juice, the water, wine and quinoa to the onions and simmer for 13-15 minutes, until the quinoa is tender. Stir in the toasted nuts and season to taste with salt and plenty of ground black pepper.
  7. Remove the pan from the heat. Stuff the cored cavity of the butternut squash halves, piling the excess on the top. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese.
  8. Cover with foil, transfer to the oven and bake for 10 minutes until the squash is cooked through. Remove the foil and bake for a further 5 minutes until the cheese is bubbling and golden.
  9. Top the squash with a spoonful of sour cream and a pinch of sprinkled smoked paprika, and serve with a mixed leaf salad.


  • Use this filling to stuff other vegetables of your choice, such as field (portobello) mushrooms, beefsteak tomatoes or courgettes (zucchini).
  • You could also serve the stuffed squash with wilted greens, topped with hot fennel pangrattato.

Nutritional Information: Gluten free Energy 441kcal/1844kJ; Protein17g; Carbohydrate 40g, of which sugars 14g; Fat 22g, of which saturates 8g; Cholesterol 32mg; Calcium 400mg; Fibre 5g; Sodium 249mg.